Killer Instinct, Reviews — September 30, 2013 at 2:34 pm

We Tested Killer Instinct


“I’m hoping this sucks” says my opponent as we sit down in the blacked-out Eurogamer booth “This is the only thing keeping me from pre-ordering the PS4. If it’s bad, I’ve got nothing to worry about.”

We’ve got 10 minutes to explore as much of the game as possible, and we both agree to just power through and get as many characters played as possible.

The character selection for the demo, each with 4 color variants:



Chief Thunder



Round 1: Jago vs Sabrewulf

Sabrewulf has some great mixups, long, mashy combos and the ability to switch-dash through fighters, which was great for keeping your opponent confused. The mashyness was unavoidable, and took away from the game as a competitive player, but you could see why it had been done; this is going to make a great party game, and a great gateway game for friends that aren’t into fighters. Despite the mashyness, you could play with some conviction, and anyone with a good grasp on footsies and anti-air-strategy should be able to get around a mashy opponent. Jago had his usual fireball and dragon-punch and was formidable in the air (most of his air normals took priority over SW’s) and at range.

killer instinct jago sabrewulf

Knowing your range is the key to keeping your opponent out.


Round 2: Glacius vs Chief Thunder

Glacius has brutal anti-ground attacks and specials, but was slow and struggled up close. “Up-Close” was a broad statement against the Chief, who’s Tomahawks granted additional reach for grabs. His away-grab did no damage, but threw the opponent into the corner with a soft-stun. Chief shared alot of similarities with Street Fighter’s T.Hawk in this sense, and was very much a grapple and space-control fighter.

Killer Instince Glacius

Glacius’ anti-ground game will keep you on your toes.


Round 3: Sabrewulf vs Chief Thunder

With all the kinks worked out, we duked it out with our 2 favorite picks of the 4 characters. The specials were very easy to block and really needed to be combo’d into on stun. Hard stuns were also possible, but required a significant succession of attacks without retaliation to achieve.


In conclusion, the game felt like a true successor in the KI family, it was fun, and focused more on casual play. There was no significant input barrier or level of execution required, which is a huge shame for many, but will hopefully be worked around by the serious, competitive fighting core. I can see this game hinging, competitively on who can find the longest combo. Hopefully in the upper combo tiers, perhaps 10+ combos, some kind of execution barrier is implemented, to keep this game interesting. Footsies were also really important, with all characters having their own unique range advantages with certain moves, there’s hope for solid ground game in this retro fighter. I think my opponent may still have to consider the Xbox for now…

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